Temporary Protected Status

Temporary Protected Status

and Deferred Enforced Departure

ALERT: On Oct. 3, 2018, in Ramos, et al v. Nielsen, et al., No. 18-cv-01554 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 3, 2018) (PDF, 458 KB), the United States District Court for the Northern District of California enjoined DHS from implementing and enforcing the decisions to terminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Sudan, Haiti, El Salvador, and Nicaragua, pending further resolution of the case. Additional guidance with respect to evidence regarding TPS status and employment authorization is forthcoming.

The Secretary of Homeland Security may designate a foreign country for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) if conditions in the country temporarily prevent the country's nationals from returning safely, or in certain circumstances, if the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately. USCIS may grant TPS to eligible nationals of a designated country, and eligible individuals without nationality who last resided in the designated country, who are already in the United States. Individuals who are granted TPS can obtain employment authorization.

Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) is in the President’s discretion to authorize as part of his power to conduct foreign relations. Individuals covered by DED are not subject to removal from the United States, usually for a designated period of time. Individuals may also request employment authorization if it is provided as a benefit of DED.

USCIS issues TPS and DED beneficiaries a Form I-766, Employment Authorization Document (EAD) if the beneficiary requests one. These employees may present this EAD or any other combination of documents from the List of Acceptable Documentsto complete Form I-9. Employees do not have to provide proof that they are a national of a country that has been designated for TPS or DED.

When DHS extends an expiring TPS designation or DED as directed by the President, it may also extend the validity of the expiring EADs associated with the TPS or DED, which allows USCIS time to issue new EADs. Information about automatic extensions is published in the Federal Register and on the USCIS website. When an employee presents an EAD that is expired on its face, employers should determine if it is a TPS or DED EAD that has been automatically extended and therefore valid for Form I-9 purposes:

  • Look at the “Category” section on the expired EAD
  • “A-12” or “C-19” indicate TPS. “A-11” indicates DED
  • See the links below to check the USCIS website for information about which TPS or DED country’s EADs have been automatically extended
  • Accept the EAD if it has been automatically extended and the extension is still in effect

      Completing Section 1

New Employee

Employees should:

  • Check “An alien authorized to work”
  • Write their alien number in the first space.  Alien numbers are printed on EADs, but also can be found on notices from USCIS
  • Write the date the EAD expires, or the automatic extension date if the EAD has been auto-extended, in the second space

Existing Employee

If a TPS or DED employee previously completed Form I-9 and presented an EAD that later expired but was automatically extended, the employer should have the employee correct Section 1 by:

  • Crossing out the employment authorization expiration date noted in the attestation
  • Writing in the date that the automatic extension of employment authorization ends
  • Initialing and dating the correction in the margin of Section 1

      Completing Section 2

New Employees

If a TPS or DED employee presents an EAD that is expired on its face but has been automatically extended, the employer should:

  • Record the document title
  • Record the document number
  • Record the issuing authority
  • Record the date the EAD has been automatically extended to as the expiration date

Existing Employees

If an existing TPS or DED employee presented an EAD when first completing Form I-9 and the EAD has been automatically extended, by the expiration date on the card, the employer should:

  • Draw a line through the expiration date for the EAD written in Section 2
  • Write the new date to which that the EAD has been extended above the previous date
  • Write “TPS Ext.” or “DED Ext.” in the Additional Information area in Section 2
  • Initial and date the correction in the Additional Information area  in Section 2

The Handbook for Employers: Instructions for Completing Form I-9 (M-274) (PDF) provides additional guidance.

      Completing Section 3

At the End of Automatic Extension

Once the automatic extension of the EAD expires, employers must reverify the employee’s employment authorization in Section 3. The employee may choose to present his or her new EAD, or any document from List A or C of Form I-9 that shows he or she continues to be authorized to work in the United States.


For specific information on the TPS designation and Employment Authorization Document extension information for a specific country, select the country below:

For specific information on the DED designation and Employment Authorization Document extension information for a specific country, select the country below:

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